Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bay Fair Shopping Center, San Leandro - Macy's Grand Opening 1957

A vintage ad for the grand opening of the Macy's department store at San Leandro's Bay Fair Shopping Center (now known as Bayfair Center). The late 50s saw an explosion of regional shopping centers in the suburban Bay Area. Developed by a joint venture of Macy's California and The Capital Company, Bay Fair was one of the two "fair" shopping centers, the other being Valley Fair in San Jose. Both fairs were designed by Victor Gruen.

Bay Fair Shopping Center opened in phases. First phase was the opening of Macy's on August 8, 1957. This ad from The Daily Review newspaper (Hayward, CA) is dated August 7, 1957. Regrettably, the Bay Fair logo is poorly contrasted to be seen. However, the ad shows the original layout of Bay Fair. The mall was two levels and situated on two planes: the lower "Mall Level" and upper "Terrace Level." An original concept at the time, visitors could park on the level they desired and never had to climb stairs.

The caption on the right side reads:
"Bay fair regional shopping center welcomes Macy's. OPEN THURSDAY... the first of 80 retail stores to open at Bay Fair Regional Shopping center!


... the first phase in the completion of our $25,000,000 center. Macy's will serve as the focal point in this gigantic shopping facility, providing one-stop shopping conveniences for the entire East Bay Area.

For convenient approach to Bay Fair, clip out this map for ready reference. Note directions in black bars for easy access from freeways. From Foothill Boulevard turn west on 150th Avenue, then south to East 14th Street. Enter parking areas from either East 14th Street or Hesperian Boulevard."

The lower left caption reads:
"FREE PARKING FOR 15,000 CARS DAILY! STAGE 1... MACY'S OPENING, the first big step forward in the construction progress of Bay Fair, a focal point for a festival of fun and savings for the entire family! STAGE 2... 22 MORE STORES TO OPEN IN OCTOBER which will be located in a two-level building adjacent to the MACY'S building, accessible from both the mall and terrace parking areas. STAGE 3... 57 ADDITIONAL STORES are now planning their openings in the near future!"


1 comment:

Rob said...

Notice the map references to the "Oakland-Hayward Freeway" and the "Tracy Freeway". I always thought 880(then 17) was called the Eastshore before it was named for Nimitz. And the predecessor to 580, US 50; would have been routed along Foothill and Macarthur Blvds before turning east. The little stretch of freeway from San Lorenzo to Castro Valley would have no signed number until they named it 238 in the 60's